Are you thinking about learning a foreign language but aren’t sure which one to pick?
We’re not blaming you. There are many wonderful languages out there, and depending on your preferences (for example, if you enjoy K-drama or indie French films), you may find yourself drawn to one in particular.
If you’re still undecided, we’ll explain you why learning Mandarin Chinese is the best decision you’ll ever make.
#1. It will set your resume apart from the rest.
The unemployment rate in Malaysia has recently risen to 4.5 percent in 2020, up from 3.3 percent in 2019. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had an influence on the labor market, anything that can provide you an advantage should be accepted with open arms.
The ability to communicate in Mandarin Chinese can be a distinct benefit. Of course, knowing a foreign language can greatly improve your professional profile. After all, many international corporations today have offices all over the world, and being multilingual will offer you an advantage over other applicants. However, because China is one of our most important trading partners, knowing Mandarin can be extremely useful.
Picking up Mandarin can be a fantastic place to start if you want to promote yourself as a more employable worker.
#2. It creates one-of-a-kind work chances.
Mandarin can also lead to unique work prospects that you wouldn’t be able to get if you spoke another language.
For starters, Mandarin speakers account for a sizable portion of the population. Some vocations, such as customer service and content authoring, are only open to Mandarin speakers to cater to this market. Due to China’s unique position as a global economy, purchasing executives whose major responsibility is to network with Chinese companies can be found. These opportunities will be available to you if you have Mandarin skills.
In addition, you can work a number of part-time jobs to boost your income. Mandarin-speaking translators, subtitlers, and teachers can find part-time work in abundance.
#3. It has the potential to increase your pay.
Knowing another language not only opens up new avenues, but it may also pay better.
Generally speaking, proficiency in an additional language can boost your earnings between 2% to 5%. Statistics vary depending on a variety of factors but the general fact remains the same — knowing another language can positively impact your prospect as an employee.
While proficiency in any language could lead to this benefit, Mandarin is especially advantageous. As you know, China is one of Malaysia’s biggest trading partners. With more companies trying to do business with China, the demand for Mandarin speakers will only increase. And so too will the pay.
#4. It stimulates your brain function
Picking up a foreign language means your brain can exercise more, improving your memory and brain function.
But did you know, there’s an added benefit that only learning Mandarin can give you?
Researchers found that unlike English that only stimulates the left temporal lobe, the Mandarin language stimulates both the left and the right side of the brain. This could be due to Mandarin’s more complicated use of tone and intonation to give meaning to a word.
#5. It can keep your mind sharp as you grow older
If you’re used to Latin alphabets, the Han characters in Mandarin Chinese can seem daunting as it uses strokes in all four directions, specifically up, down, left and right.
But there is an upside to this — researchers say that studying and writing new symbols such as Chinese characters can help activate neural activity and improve motor and cognitive skills. In addition, some studies also indicate that studying a new language can prevent and delay the onset of cognitive decline by 4.5 years.
In short, learning a foreign language, especially Mandarin, can help you slow down the brain’s aging process. That is one stellar benefit you don’t want to miss out on.
#6. It’ll help you connect with more people
Chew on this — Mandarin is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world and is second only to English. With 917 million native Mandarin speakers and over 1 billion non-native speakers, this means that one in every seven people can converse in Mandarin.
This will give you a chance to connect with as many people all over the world as possible. After all, speaking a common language is a great unifying tool and you can actually get to know someone better when you know their first language.
Proficiency in Mandarin can also be very helpful in a variety of social settings. The language is used everywhere from business transactions to social and cultural interactions. And you’re mistaken to think that it’s only useful in China — there are many Chinatowns all over the world and plenty of Mandarin speakers even outside of these communities.
It’s a logical conclusion to say that learning the second biggest language in the world can be very helpful in connecting you to as many people as possible.
#7. It helps you stay relevant in this challenging climate
The reality is that China is one of the giants of the world’s economy. Second only to the US, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 was a whopping $14.34 trillion. And it’s growing fast. With an annual growth rate of 6.1% (the largest compared to other countries), it’s only a matter of time before it overtakes the US.
So it’s not really an overstatement to say that the future of commerce is China. If you’re looking for a way to future-proof yourself and ensure your relevance in this fast-paced and ever-changing world, perhaps picking up Mandarin, China’s official language, is a good start.
Learning a completely different language with its own unique writing system can be unnerving. But you live in a digital world now and there are so many resources at the tip of your fingers. As long as you’re willing to reach out, these benefits will come to you.